Ready for the best casserole recipe? This freezer-friendly cheesy chicken and rice casserole comes together fast, with pantry staples and leftover chicken.
Chicken & rice casserole is one of our family staples, but in my quest to develop a whole binder full of no-cook freezer meals, I decided to take on the challenge of creating a freezer friendly version. I’ll be honest, it took a lot of trial and error to get it right, but the final version was one both my husband and kids couldn’t get enough of!
Quite frankly there is something just comforting about a hearty one-dish meal coming straight out of the oven after a long day. Between the frozen broccoli and canned soup, this one feels a little retro, but man is it delicious! While the recipe calls for using a cooked rotisserie chicken, you could easily substitute leftover Thanksgiving turkey as well!
Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole
Here is what you need:3-4 cups cooked chopped chicken (a deli rotisserie chicken works well) 1 sweet onion 4 cans condensed cream of broccoli soup 2 cups milk 2-1/2 cups water 1 16oz container sour cream 2 teaspoons seasoned salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder 2 10 oz packages yellow rice 1 16oz bag frozen broccoli 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Step 1: Chop onion; set aside.
Step 2: In large bowl whisk together soup, milk, water, sour cream, salt, pepper, chopped onion and garlic powder until well blended.
Step 3: Mix in rice, chicken, broccoli, and cheddar cheese.
Step 4: Divide mixture into 2 gallon size freezer bags (be sure to label bags first); freeze until needed.
Step 5: Thaw; pour mixture into casserole dish and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and stir, being sure to scrape any rice that has collected along the sides and mix well. (DON’T SKIP THIS PART!! If desired, sprinkle with 1/2 cup crushed cracker crumbs and drizzle 2 tablespoons of melted butter over crumb mixture. Return to oven and bake at 400 degrees for additional 45-50 minutes.
Easy Freezer Chicken & Rice Casserole
- 3-4 cups cooked chopped chicken a deli rotisserie chicken works well
- 1 sweet onion
- 4 cans condensed cream of broccoli soup
- 2 cups milk
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 16 oz container sour cream
- 2 teaspoons seasoned salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 10 oz packages yellow rice
- 1 16 oz bag frozen broccoli
- 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Chop onion; set aside.
- In large bowl whisk together soup, milk, water, sour cream, salt, pepper, chopped onion and garlic powder until well blended.
- Mix in rice, chicken, broccoli, and cheddar cheese.
- Divide mixture into 2 gallon size freezer bags (be sure to label bags first); freeze until needed.
Thaw; pour mixture into casserole dish and bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and stir, being sure to scrape any rice that has collected along the sides and mix well.
If desired, sprinkle with 1/2 cup crushed cracker crumbs and drizzle 2 tablespoons of melted butter over crumb mixture. Return to oven and bake at 400 degrees for additional 45-50 minutes.
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Hello. I’m wondering if raw cubed chicken can be substituted for the cooked chicken? Since the rice is raw will this work?
I would not sub raw chicken for the cooked.
Does it get divided into 2 1 gallon size bags or 2 2 gallon size bags?
I just made this last night (froze one bag and cooked the other right away) and it is SO good! One question/observation: I feel like the yellow rice was a little undercooked, it tastes a little crunchy. Any suggestions on how to soften the rice? Or maybe a substitution? It tastes good but if I was going to feed anyone other than my fiance and I, I would definitely wouldn’t want them to think it was undercooked 😉
Did you cook the rice first?
The recipe definitely doesn’t say to cook the rice first, and that would be a whole lot of liquid to mix with already cooked rice. I’m wondering if Jamie missed the part where it goes back in the oven for 40-50 minutes and just cooked it the initial 30? I almost did that since it comes after “If desired…”
You can partially cook the rice before or use instant rice. I hope this helps!
Does the rice need to be cooked?
This looks amazing. I wonder if subbing cream of mushroom for cream of broccoli would work? Or a mixture of cream of mushroom & cream of chicken? I keep a stock of those two for my freezer meals.